The most useful lesson I learned when my undergrad in creative writing is "show don’t tell." In the opening of Captain Marvel, our eponymous superhero falls from space into a Blockbuster Video. This shows the audience that Captain Marvel is set in the mid-90s and they don’t need to literally spell out on the screen,, “Earth — 1995.” You immediately know the time period as soon as you see the Blockbuster (as well as her picking up VHS types, one specifically a homage to her character.) Showing not telling is the best way to tell a story because you get to paint a pretty picture for the viewers. What’s more engaging, her falling into a Blockbuster Video, looking at VHS tapes, or the movie opening with a title card of the date? Show don’t tell method of storytelling is just one reason (of many) why directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (the duo who made the excellent Half Nelson) are two of my favorite filmmakers.
I must admit, when I first watched Captain Marvel, I wasn’t a fan. Maybe it’s because I saw it at 11 pm on a Thursday, perhaps it's because I hold Anna and Ryan, as well as Marvel movies in high regard, or maybe I didn’t like it (shame on me for having an opinion). That changed when I watched Captain Marvel in the comfort of my own home. Movies are meant first to be seen in theaters, so saying I liked it better at home is a sentence I never thought I would write, but here I am. I have similar criticisms as I did the first time I saw it (they beat you over the head that it’s set in the 90s with the soundtrack and constant talk of grunge -- this it telling, not showing), but this plot device is a lot easier to digest when I’m comfortably lounging in my favorite green sweatpants and white shirt while watching the movie. Nobody around me is on their cell phone, and I can enjoy it without distraction. Captain Marvel is solid, and there couldn't have been a better choice for Captain Marvel than Brie Larson -- she lights up the screen.
Let’s discuss this 4K release. Like Infinity War and Ragnarok (my favorite film in the Infinity Stone Saga), Captain Marvel’s slipcover is embossed. You probably think, "Who cares?" Well, I care, and so do many slipcover collectors. I’m a slipcover collector, so the embossing is a bonus.
The 4K transfer is superb, as well as the colors when Captain Marvel lights up on screen. I didn't care much for 4K UHD home releases until I got a 4K TV and player, and saw it with my own eyes. When the transfer is right, no matter what movie it is, you can't take your eyes off the screen. Captain Marvel is one of these films. This 4K is slack-jawing.
Marvel picks a lot of indie directors to make their films because they trust these filmmakers can tell a good story. Before Russo Brothers directed Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame, their only credits were Community, episodes of other TV shows, and You, Me and Dupree; before Thor Ragnarok, director Taika Waititi was known for his gut-busting indie films Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, Boy, and Eagle vs. Shark. His pleasantly odd sense of humor is peppered liberally throughout Ragnarok, and gave Thor room to be a hilarious and charismatic and not so damn serious and Shakesperean. This is a long tangent, but my point again is, Marvel knows a good storyteller when they see one, and they saw that in Anna and Ryan. The company already has a team that can produce arresting special effects, but as we've learned from superhero movies like Justice League, you need a good director behind the camera (to Snyder's credit, who was forced to leave the film because a family tragedy, Joss Whedon is to blame for the failure of Justice League).
Most home releases are getting scarce with extra features. Captain Marvel’s 4K UHD release has an avalanche for you to Marvel at.
Alternate Movie Versions:
An introduction by directors/screenwriters Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.
Commentary with directors/screenwriters Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.
Becoming a Super Hero
Big Hero Moment
The Origins of Nick Fury
The Dream Team
The Skrulls and the Kree
”Who do You Admire Above All Others?”
”Heading to Torfa”
”What, No Smile?”
Also with the 4K are some digital exclusives:
Journey into Visual Effects with Victoria Alonso
What Makes a Memory: Inside the “Mind Frack”
Pre-order Captain Marvel HERE.